Edtech startup Outlier.org raises $16M to provided an online education platform that offers online courses

TechStartups | January 09, 2020

Edtech startup Outlier.org raises $16M to provided an online education platform that offers online courses
The rising cost of college is creating a financial hole for parents and students. The average price for tuition and fees at four-year private colleges (and some public colleges) and universities has outpaced the rate of inflation by more than 3 percentage points. The current part is not only unsustainable but will also leave college many students in debt even after college. That’s why Outlier.org, an edtech startup was founded by Aaron Rasmussen, who formerly co-founded and led the creative direction of MasterClass, is on a mission to make college affordable with an online education platform that offers online courses that earn students transferable college credit. Unlike traditional online education programs, Outlier.org produces cinema-quality lectures that are taught by some of the brightest and most charismatic figures in academia, including professors from Yale, MIT, Columbia, Cornell, and Davidson.

Spotlight

To adapt to and succeed in a changing world of work, today’s organizations should strive toward a new learning standard, one that’s powered by tech-enabled modern learning strategies that help drive agile corporate learning and development.With there being a strong case for making the move to modern learning in the workplace, we wanted to get a better sense of what learning and development is currently like across different organizations what’s driving it and how it’s deployed so we asked around. Here’s what we found out.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

New Skillsoft Study Reveals Learning and Development Disconnect Between Women in Tech and Employers

Skillsoft | December 03, 2021

Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate digital learning, today released new research exploring the current state of women in tech including the challenges and barriers to inclusion they face and how employers can better support them. Findings from Skillsoft’s 2021 Women in Tech Report reveal that while female employees have gained hard-fought ground in the workplace, a large gap still exists when it comes to opportunities for professional development and career advancement. According to the report, there is a misalignment between the workplace benefits women in tech are seeking and what is currently being provided. For example, while 86 percent of respondents cited opportunities for professional development and training as extremely or very important to them, just 42 percent said their employers currently offer this as a benefit. Additionally, when asked about the top challenges they have faced while pursuing a tech-related career, nearly a third of women surveyed (32 percent) pointed to a lack of training. The research indicates that women in tech want to learn, and when asked which tech-related areas they are most interested in, business analysis, cybersecurity, analytics, AI, and machine learning, and leadership and management topped their lists. With Skillsoft’s recent IT Skills and Salary Report finding that 76 percent of organizations currently face skills gaps in their IT departments, providing opportunities for training and professional development is a major benefit for employers and employees alike as it can help fill crucial shortages and skills gaps and put women on a path for career advancement. “Organizations around the globe are looking for ways to address their skills gaps, and in many cases, the answer lies within via their existing workforce. Women make up less than 40 percent of the global workforce, and for that number to increase, female employees must be empowered with continuous training, professional development, and career advancement, as well as equal pay. The time is now for organizations to tackle gender disparity head-on. By doing so, we can build more inclusive, equitable, and competitive businesses.” Potoula Chresomales, SVP, Product Management, Skillsoft Skillsoft’s 2021 Women in Tech Report highlights a few ways organizations can better empower female employees, including: Provide and encourage opportunities for certification: When asked how certifications have helped advance their careers, respondents reported gaining more responsibility (52 percent), earning higher salaries (34 percent), and receiving promotions (32 percent), among other benefits. Despite business analysis and cybersecurity being identified as leading areas of interest, just 22 percent and 18 percent of respondents, respectively, hold corresponding certifications.19 percent report holding no certifications at all. Make a concentrated effort to reduce gender bias in STEM: 70 percent of women surveyed reported that men outnumber them in the workplace at ratios of two-to-one or greater. Additionally, Skillsoft found that compared to men, women in tech must work longer to climb the corporate ladder. The highest percentage of men in leadership roles have 15-20 years of experience versus 26 or more years for women. To encourage more women to pursue tech-related careers, respondents said organizations should provide opportunities for professional development and training (55 percent), childcare (47 percent), career coaching, mentoring, and counseling (43 percent), and an equitable work culture (41 percent). Alleviate the unique on-the-job challenges women face: While overall job satisfaction for women in tech is strong – 91 percent of respondents report being extremely or somewhat satisfied in their roles – they face numerous obstacles. 38 percent of respondents list their biggest challenge as a lack of equity in pay. This is followed by balancing work and life (36 percent) and a lack of equity in opportunities (33 percent). Ensure training is timely and topical: When selecting a training provider, women in tech seek scheduling capabilities (34 percent), relevant course availability (32 percent), and opportunities for hands-on practice (32 percent). About Skillsoft Skillsoft is a global leader in corporate digital learning, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. The Company provides enterprise learning solutions designed to prepare organizations for the future of work, overcome critical skill gaps, drive demonstrable behavior-change, and unlock the potential in their people. Skillsoft offers a comprehensive suite of premium, original, and authorized partner content, including one of the broadest and deepest libraries of leadership & business skills, technology & developer, and compliance curricula. With access to a broad spectrum of learning options (including video, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, and practice labs), organizations can meaningfully increase learner engagement and retention. Skillsoft’s offerings are delivered through Percipio, its award-winning, AI-driven, immersive learning platform purpose built to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.

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Lexia Core5 Reading Named Winner in 2020 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence

Lexia Learning | July 28, 2020

Today, Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone company (NYSE: RST), announced that its personalized literacy programs, Lexia® Core5® Reading (Core5) was selected as a winner in the software category for the 2020 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence program. “Districts are looking for rigorous, research-proven programs – and that has always been at the center of our pedagogical approach,” said Lexia President Nick Gaehde. “With the flexibility that Lexia Core5 Reading offers, district leaders can be confident in knowing that teachers remain at the center of instruction and students are progressing at their individual level whether learning in-class or remotely from home.”

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Lightspeed Systems Teams up With Google for Education Technology to Provide Distance Learning Resources

google | May 20, 2020

Lightspeed Systems has partnered with Google for Education as a technology resource for schools transitioning to distance learning. In an effort to help schools worldwide protect and manage distance learning programs, is offering its remote web filtering and classroom management platforms for free . Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States. Education technology solutions provider Lightspeed Systems (“Lightspeed” or “the Company”) has partnered with Google for Education as a technology resource for schools transitioning to distance learning. Lightspeed joins the list of distance learning resources as a global, multi-language partner with its filtering and classroom monitoring solutions. As schools across the world deployed distance learning programs, there became a heightened need for remote safety and monitoring solutions on student devices to maintain instructional continuity.. . In an effort to help schools worldwide protect and manage distance learning programs, Lightspeed is offering its remote web filtering and classroom management platforms for free through the end of this school year. Lightspeed’s Relay Filter and Relay Classroom are cloud-based filtering and monitoring solutions that can be remotely deployed for easy over-the-air setup. With Relay Filter, schools can enable full filtering and activity reporting, including student safety protection, Safety Check, to monitor internet activity for signs of students in emotional distress. Learn more: GOOGLE LAUNCHED READ ALONG, AN AI ANDROID APP HELPING KIDS IMPROVE READING SKILLS . “We’re proud to work with our partners by providing Relay Filter and Relay Classroom as a resource to protect and engage students around the world while distance learning.” ~ Mike Durando, VP Strategic Alliances Lightspeed Relay Classroom provides students and teachers with a virtual classroom management experience, complete with live screen monitoring, custom web rules, link sharing, and simple messaging. 'We’re proud to work with our partners by providing Relay Filter and Relay Classroom as a resource to protect and engage students around the world while distance learning,” shares Mike Durando, VP of Strategic Alliances for Lightspeed Systems. Relay Filter and Relay Classroom are available as distance learning solutions to schools affected by COVID-19 at no cost through June 30, 2020. For more information, visit Chromebook App Hub’s Distance Learning Resources. “Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform .“ Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. Headquartered in Austin, TX (with offices in Portland and the U.K.), Lightspeed serves over 15 million students in 35 countries. Relay covers every OS as well as BYOD, and IoT traffic—on the school network, at home, or anywhere. Relay helps you balance high-level oversight with tier-based management including access and data privacy controls. Smart features to keep kids safe on and off campus.With features like Safety Check and YouTube Smart Play, Relay helps kids safe from cyberbullying, self-harm, and inappropriate content. A student’s K-12 experience has a profound impact on their future. Google for Education shareable devices and collaborative tools help teachers prepare all students with new, more engaging ways to learn the skills they need to succeed. Google for Education gives teachers the freedom to spend more time personalizing the learning experience, and less time managing it. Students can learn 21st-century problem-solving and the skills they’ll use in their future careers, with accessibility features that help every student do their best work. Google for Education products are easy to deploy, use, and manage. With a few clicks, IT administrators can set up new devices and manage policies across an entire school or district. Automated, cloud-based management streamlines processes and ensures all users stay up to date. Learn more: PANDEMIC SHIFTS HIGHLIGHT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING TECHNOLOGY .

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Spotlight

To adapt to and succeed in a changing world of work, today’s organizations should strive toward a new learning standard, one that’s powered by tech-enabled modern learning strategies that help drive agile corporate learning and development.With there being a strong case for making the move to modern learning in the workplace, we wanted to get a better sense of what learning and development is currently like across different organizations what’s driving it and how it’s deployed so we asked around. Here’s what we found out.